What to know about Advent week 4: Jesus is love
A Scripture study from Caring, part four of four.
This is our final week in Advent. It’s nearly Christmas! Like any journey, the final stretch can be the hardest. Don’t miss out on what God has for you and your family this week as we reach the pinnacle of the season and discover Jesus is love.
By now, we understand that God’s best laid plan for humankind to know his love was by giving us his son, Jesus. This action was selfless, gracious, and full of compassion.
Have you heard of Nicodemus? He was a Jewish teacher of the law who had heard and was curious about Jesus, but didn’t really know who he was. One night, when nobody was around, no one was watching, he came to Jesus. He knew he was a good teacher, he knew he was from God, but he didn’t really know him. Jesus showed love and compassion for Nicodemus and spent time explaining to this teacher of the law what he could not understand.
Sometimes, it can become easy to get caught up with rule following. We think if we do certain things or act a certain way, we can please God. God gave those 10 Commandments to us for a reason—we needed help knowing what would please him and bring honor to one another. But what God really wanted was to change the hearts of his people—not just change their behavior. Have you ever tried to do what is right, but you just couldn’t? God understood. He wanted people to live and choose what was right but to do so out of the overflow of their heart and sincere love for him. God did not send Jesus to the world to make us good, but to change our whole world, perspective, our thinking, our understanding and to have God’s Holy love take hold of our heart.
God gave us everything when he gave us Jesus. His only and beloved son.
What a gift we have been given.
Read About It
Read the rest of the story in John 3:16-21.
Wondering what happened to Nicodemus? It’s hard to tell. But Scripture tells us that after Jesus’ death on the cross, Nicodemus was among the men who prepared his body for burial. This is a powerful moment in the story of Jesus and the story of Nicodemus. It stands to reason that Nicodemus not only changed his mind about who Jesus was, but had his heart completely transformed.
Read about it in John 19:38-42.
Talk About It
1. Why do you think it was hard for Nicodemus to accept that Jesus was the Messiah (Savior)?
2. Why did God send Jesus to the world?
3. In what ways does Jesus being born a baby help him relate to us?
4. Jesus called himself “The Light.” How can we live by the “Light” and not be overcome with darkness?
5. How can you show the love of God to those who don’t know Jesus today?
Pray About It
If you haven’t experienced the life-changing love of God, pray that the Holy Spirit would help you encounter his love through the story and life of Jesus. If you have friends or family who don’t know Jesus, pray they would witness God’s love through your life.
Excerpted from The Light Will Come: A 28-Day Advent Journey for Families. It’s not too late to join! Get on the list now and start following along today for a simple, meaningful Advent celebration with your family. Plus, you’ll get the Do Good Digest—weekly inspiration sent right to your inbox.
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- You’ve probably seen the red kettles and thrift stores, and while we’re rightfully well known for both…The Salvation Army is so much more than red kettles and thrift stores. So who are we? What do we do? Where? Right this way for Salvation Army 101.